filizefe's blog

Build a Strong Online Portfolio in 9 Steps: A strategic approach for designing a portfolio and building a site in WordPress

Posted in portfolio by filizefe on April 11, 2011

If your career goal involves content creation and digital media management, you need to maintain control of your online identity by building a portfolio website. This past weekend in the MCDM, we’ve discussed the fundamentals of creating an effective online portfolio. If you haven’t had the chance to attend this workshop, this 9-step tutorial presentation will give you an outline for developing a content strategy, selecting appropriate work for publication, as well as building and maintaining your portfolio without falling into common pitfalls.


Book Review: “The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age” by Larry Downes

Posted in review by filizefe on December 7, 2009

Revolution is coming, as well as the consequences of law and business in digital life. Innovative communication technologies disrupt the social, political, and legal systems. New forces, driven by these communication technologies, are replacing the government forms of the industrial age. Larry Downes, in his new book “The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age”, explores this intersection of law and business in digital life, describes emerging principles that are shaping a new legal code, and draws a roadmap especially for policy makers and lawyers in this transformation period.

Downes is a consultant on developing business strategies in the digital age and the author of the Business Week and New York Times business best-seller, “Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance”, which was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology.  (, 2009) (, 2009)

Moore's Law: Plot of CPU transistor counts against dates of introduction. The curve shows counts doubling every two years.

Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law, show that the communication technologies are getting faster, cheaper, smaller, and the value of the network expands exponentially with the number of connected users to the system. Law, by design, changes slowly. Downes draws the central thesis of the book around these principles which is “technology changes exponentially, but social, economic, and legal systems change incrementally.” The normal evolution of legal systems is slow and incremental. But the innovative communication technologies disrupt the current system and ultimately demand dramatic transformation.

In particular, the book brings forward nine emerging principles for a new legal foundation, built on the information economy. These nine principles, divided into three groups, reflect the major components of digital life and form the laws of disruption:

Private Life

1.            Convergence – When Worlds Collide

2.            Personal Information – From Privacy to Propriety

3.            Human Rights – Social Contracts in Digital Life

Public Life

4.            Infrastructure – Rules of the Road on the Information Highway

5.            Business – All Regulation is Local

6.            Crime – Public Wrongs, Private Remedies

Information Life

7.            Copyright – Reset the Balance

8.            Patent – Virtual Machines Need Virtual Lubricants

9.            Software – Open Always Wins … Eventually

The exploration of these critical areas is not new to the reader; Yochai Benkler in his book published in 2006, “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom”, examines the emerging social production in the digitally networked environment and how it transformed our most fundamental understandings of our society, economy and democracy. (Benkler, 2006) While Benkler is targeting academics about the same topics framing cultural reflections, Downes aims policy makers and business lawyers with up to date case-studies, and future predictions including warning sign.

Downes in his book, not only explores these nine critical areas in a very well structured outline with solid up to date stories from business and social life, but also suggests solutions to the emerging consequences. For example, in the last part “Information Life”, “Law Seven: Copyright”, Downes explores the history of copyright from its beginning to the present, and proposes a radical but simple solution, which is resetting the balance between information producers and users: He proposes setting realistic time limits to the legal protection on the content, restoring the concept of fair use, and undoing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 2000, which has done considerable damage to the balance between information producers and users and added no value. He emphasizes that markets do a better job than traditional forms of government in establishing rules in legal protection of digital content.

The metaphor of fast cars and speed limits to describe the state of copyright is a great one:  “It is now virtually impossible for average consumers to avoid violating copyright law on a daily basis. It’s as if every time cars were made faster, speed limits were reduced to minimize the incidence of speeding.” (Downes, 2009 pg 207). Almost everyone agrees that the copyright system is broken, “72 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 don’t care whether the music they downloaded onto their computers was copyrighted or not”. (Downes, 2009 pg 207)

Metcalfe's Law: Two telephones can make only one connection, five can make 10 connections, and twelve can make 66 connections.

As Moore’s Law makes it possible to digitize and store information much easier every day, Metcalfe’s Law helps it to explain how the information is exponentially distributed within the network. Once the information is digitized, any user can make any number of perfect duplicates. Chris Anderson in his book “Free: the Future of a Radical Price”, has already predicted that revolution is coming, even happening right now. Anderson takes a business approach to frame the topic, where Downes takes it from the legal point of view.

Anderson explains new business models where every product on the digital platform is competing with the price of “free” and it is already happening now. Because once it is digitized, the marginal cost of a product approaches zero and so its price falls toward zero. However, it is not threatening profitability of a product. (Anderson, 2009) Downes agrees with it: “The Law of Disruption always challenges the existing rules and profit allocations of industries, but in the end it creates more value than it destroys.” (Downes, 2009 pg 218)

Communication technologies are dramatically rewriting the rules of business and social life. This is disruptive and revolutionary. As real life and digital life continue to converge, the rise of consequences in private, public and information life is inevitable. I highly recommend “The Laws of Disruption” to lawmakers, entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in witnessing and taking advantage of the revolutionary change in our economic, social and private life that digital technologies and emerging ways of communication bring about.


Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The future of a radical price. New York: Hyperion.

Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press.

Downes, L. (2009). The laws of disruption: Harnessing the new forces that govern life and business in the digital age. New York: Basic Books.

Law of disruption (Nov 30, 2008) In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

Supernova Hub (2009) In Speakers, Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

The Laws of Disruption (2009) In Retrieved Dec 4, 2009 from

Book Review: “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” by Yochai Benkler

Posted in review by filizefe on November 16, 2009

Benkler, Yochai. “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” Yale University Press, New Haven, 200.

In his book “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom”, Yochai Benkler examines the emerging social production in the digitally networked environment and how it transformed our most fundamental understandings of our society, economy and democracy. These new ways in which we produce and share information in the digital network, not only changed all of our lives but also the way information is capitalized, emphasizing on the commons-based peer production, the collaborative efforts, such as Wikipedia, Creative Commons and open source software, which are based on sharing information. (The Wealth of Networks is itself published under a Creative Commons license)

There are three parts to the book. In the first part, Benkler explains the emerging patterns of nonmarket individual and cooperative social behavior, and how this affects the economics of information production and sharing. The second part delves into the political economy of property and analysis to claim that these emerging practices offer defined improvements in autonomy, democratic discourse, cultural creation, and justice. The third section addresses the policies and questions the future of the internet and opportunities for democratic participation, and the creation of culture.

In the industrial society, information economy has been simply described as the information and services, rather than physical goods and services, which are based on the exchange of knowledge (DFEEST, 2008). Industrial information economy is now being displaced by the networked information economy. As Chris Anderson also argues the post-industrial information economy in his book “Free: the Future of a Radical Price”, the marginal cost of every product on the digital platform approaches zero, because once it is digitized it costs almost nothing to reproduce and distribute information. Information as a good and information technologies have replaced the goods which are made of atoms, and made a radical change in the way information is capitalized.

Benkler brings forward the possibility that “a culture where information were shared freely could prove more economically efficient than one where innovation is frequently encumbered by patent or copyright law, since the marginal cost of re-producing most information is effectively nothing.” (Wikipedia, 2009) He examines this radical economic change and how social dynamics drives the information production and information sharing to a non-market and decentralized framework. Previous communication technologies centralized communication, but the Internet and the declining costs of computation, communication and storage capacity provide new ways of social sharing and exchange of information. Although social sharing and exchange of information, is not a new phenomena. It’s not the first time we do good things to each other as social beings, but It’s the first time it is having major economic impact.

Information economy is shifting from physical products to decentralized and non-market information goods. Networked information economy, is not dependant on the market strategies. The most important components of the information economy – computation, storage and communications capacity – are now in the hands of population at large.

As a modality of economic production, social sharing and exchange is decentralized authority in a non-market based production framework. Below chart shows the four transactional frameworks and where this emerging networked information economy takes its place.

Benkler's four transactional frameworks

Benkler's four transactional frameworks

Benkler brings four economic observations:

1- The proprietary strategies of information economy are not as dominant as it is perceived. Most of education, arts, and sciences are merit based or volunteer based. Most of information is derived from non-market based systems.

2- The proprietary strategies make access to information resources more expensive for all as ownership becomes more restrictive.

3- As the information production, storage and sharing systems become cheaper and accessible, non-proprietary peer-production and sharing models become more attractive than ever.

4- The rise of peer-production: We coproduce and exchange economic goods and services, but we do not count these in the economic census. “The pooling of human creativity and of computation, communication, and storage enables nonmarket motivations and relations to play a much larger role in the production of the information environment than it has been able to for at least decades, perhaps for as long as a century and a half.” (Benkler, 2006, pg. 464)

In conclusion, Benkler in his book, brings a solid analysis to the emerging networked information economy, a detailed explanation to the social production and sharing dynamics, and discusses the social and cultural possibilities in the future. The book covers many important issues, such as intellectual property, copyright laws, personal freedom, and democracy, and it might worth to read through the whole book for a deeper understanding of the nature of the networked information economy. However, the length of the book and his long labyrinthine sentences are intimidating. I strongly suggest readers to have a look at his interviews, talks and lectures online to get the gist of his argument and warm up, before reading the book.


Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. New York: Hyperion.

Benkler, Y. (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press.

DFEEST (2008). “What is the Information Economy?”. Creating Online Opportunity. Information Economy. Retrieved on Nov 15, 2009 from

Yochai Benkler. (Oct 13, 2009). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved Nov 16, 2009 from

Class Reflection – How to differentiate content in this “free” space?

Posted in reflection by filizefe on October 29, 2009

How to differentiate content in this “free” space?

Digital content, regardless of its’ origin, is a type of information. In this sense, content creators produce information. In order to differentiate your information from other information in free space, you need to get into the habit of viewing your content as solely “information”.

  1. Content should have a place: You need to collect your content under your domain name or at least on a blog or a SNS page. Think this is your office address on your business card, where you drive people from other locations and redirect people from it.
  2. Content should have neighbors: There is almost no marginal cost to copy and place your content on different platforms. You need to take place on different platforms (communities) and create links (connections) between your locations. As @yush said “The Internet connected our hard drives, and social media connected our minds”. We need to connect with other minds through social media.
  3. Content should be visible: In other words “searchable”. Every digital content on the internet should be tagged/keywords, linked or embedded in order to increase the potential of visibility.
  4. Content should have a value: You need to think and create different layers of information to represent your content. Chris Anderson would call creating scarcity in abundance. As @kegill mentioned in COM 548, “It is not easy to make people buy something online, if they find it somewhere else or something close (good) enough”.

Visual Storytelling For Web: Tips And Techniques

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 31, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity: Which one to pay for?

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 6, 2009

Bill Wasik in his talk at BigThink claims that shorter written content (newspapers) is inherently going to be free in part because there’s so many people making it. In contrast, there is demand in the market to longer content (e-books) even though people need to pay for it. He determines that modern media made it available for everybody to create content and find a large audience to stage so there is an amateur explosion creating short content. Also people have no patience to pay for short content online. However, what is the role of quality? Is it the effectiveness or length of the content make us pay for it.

I agree, the modern media made it incredibly easy to produce content and share with large or selected audiences. Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington, commented about the modern media by also naming as pocketmedia: “everyone is a communicator, a filmmaker, a journalist, a content creator, a community  organizer, a rabble rouser, a message disrupter, a salesperson, a marketer, a broadcaster, a narrowcaster.” This media environment turns everybody a potential producer. However, the ratio of effective content when compared with the informational pollution is not too high. People are improving their skills to find quality content or willing to pay a fee to be a member of a platform where they can be served with selected quality content.

Quantity on the other hand is losing its importance. Nobody has time to spend with useless information. As a reader, if one day I believe that I can’t reach accurate news through my own Internet search, I’d open up my wallet to pay a fee for online news service. In other words I’d trade my time with money. This is more about getting a service not the length of the content itself. But also there are some good examples of short quality content which can compete with 1000 pages: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words.

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

…and is said to have called it his best work.

Chapter Outline – Visual Communication

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

Visual Communication Chapter Outline


Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

I’ve used various tools to pick my profiles during my research about the organization/brand profiles related with the visual communication field:

1- Twitter People Search (specific brand names)

2- Twitter Keyword Search (visual, communication, photography, creative, design, image…)

3- Twitter Directories (WeFollow & TrackingTwitter)

4- Google

5- Google Finance (searching for brand competitors)

6- Visual communication related individuals and their following lists

I realized that many corporate visual communication brands do not have a presence on Twitter yet. Some of the well known brands and organizations have been using Twitter but most of them are not paying attention to their profile descriptions and keywords, which make them invisible during search.

Visual communication is not classified on Twitter directories yet. In WeFollow there is only one representative of “photography” category. These profiles does not reach millions of followers, so it can be called as a niche category to deal with on Twitter.

Ah-ha Moment on Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

Creating meaning with words always seemed abstract to me. Twitter is the most abstract social media tool in this sense. I’ve been resisting using Twitter for a long time for this reason. May be I was afraid to take a step up to the stage where I was not able to use visuals to support my speech and tie down the meaning. How could I build a relationship where the common expression is with word and even worse; under 140 characters?

First I started with observing what was going on this platform. I realized that twitter reputation is related with how many followers you have. A profile’s currency and its territory are represented by the number of its population.

I started examining some profiles and used our class template for my report. After I posted my @KodakCB and @CreativeReview profile reports to our course blog, I decided to share the links with the profile owners on Twitter. In a couple of hours I started to get RT and replies. And short after that, we exchanged e-mails, we carried our communication to other social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

I was stuck with the idea that Twitter is a platform limited with words, which was extremely difficult for me to build relationships. My ah-ha moment was when I realized that Twitter could be a great step to start, build and expand relationships on social media.

Duration Does Matter!

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 30, 2009

I was studying film in the college in the 1990s. The length of the short film was defined as maximum 30 minutes. After 30 minutes it was called feature-length film. I didn’t keep my short film assignments from then but I remember they were not short and my primary concern was not the length of the film. In today’s media environment, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be but not the only criteria to attract the audience.

The short article published in the New York Times this month is discussing the Web habits of the today’s impatient audience, the duration of a visual content and the importance of storytelling. It also gives statistics and insight about the use of the media and audience habits, which is worth clicking.

“Keep it short – Keep it Simple – Keep it Interesting”

The first rule we keep in mind in digital storytelling classes is “keep it short!”. If our story is going to be distributed online, our audience is impatient and they are distracted very easily. After 90 sec, it is our own risqué to be watched. Although it is not a big issue technically, we consider these perceptional limitations in our short films now.

The pace is fast on the Internet; too many windows are open at the same time. We need to tell what we tell in a simple way and more if it is not interesting there is no chance: It turns out to be named as ‘boring stuff’.

Our everyday life and communication tools have changed and so the expectations for the content. We don’t go to a movie theater to see a short film; it’s there in our pocket already. We are not limited with time restrictions; we stream or download the content anytime we wish.

What makes us nailed to our seats to watch a longer film?

Good storytelling and good production values make the audience engage with the content. But also the expectations are playing an important role in the process. The audience classifies the content: Is it a 90 min movie or a video clip or a documentary? And they devote some time to consume that content.

When the medium was TV or a movie theater, we were able to come up with some quantitative metrics for the value of the content. But the Internet as an ultra medium blurs the picture of measurement. The Video Insider poses the question “What is a show and how do we define a most-watched show on the Internet?” and proposes that “the ‘most-watched’ measurement should be the highest number of user-initiated streams in any distribution category that is measurable online and that a ‘show’ is any periodically produced branded content.”

The audience defines the length of time they are going to devote before they consume the content. Therefore not all the visual content is to be under 90 seconds: Although, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be, classification of the content, good storytelling and good production values are the keys to create an effective content.